Old customs still play an important role in women lives

The Pashtoon traditional culture states that if the husband dies, the wife has to marry his brother. This custom still prevails in many tribes and many women are still victim of this form of violence.


(Code name 001) (To protect the identity of the victim HAWCA uses code name instead of the original names)

15 years ago when I was only 13 years old and a child knowing nothing about the cruelty of life, they come to propose for my marriage, but I did not accept their proposal as I wanted to continue my education and be with my childhood friends, but my father in law who is a warlord threatens my family and by forced made them agree to this marriage. My husband family has many enemies who succeeded in killing my husband and his two brothers. But they did not stop at this and one day they through a hand grenade in my house which resulted in seriously injuring my son and my daughter. I cried for help but no one of my in-laws came to my help and so due to large amount of blood loss my son died in my arms. Even for the treatment of my daughter my in-laws did not gave me any money and I had to ask my parents to pay for the expenses. Now I am living with my parents but my in-laws say that you are our widow and you should marry with one of your husbands’ brother. As I have already suffered a lot in this family, I did not want to go there again but again they started threatening my family.

Now I have come to HAWCA to help me in this regard and save me from another force marriage.


Her case was registered to the HAWCA registration book and the necessary information was given to her by HAWCA defense lawyer.

As the client requested to follow the case through mediation before going to court as it will increase the risk of her losing her life and daughter, the defense lawyer started opening a mediation between the families. The mediation was to be organized in the independent human right commission. The defense lawyer called each one of her in-laws and requested them to come. Some of the in-laws did not cooperate at the beginning but after few calls they came. During the mediation it was made clear to them that their action is considered as force marriage which is a crime and also against sharia law. They were also told that their threats are considered as a criminal act. They were told that if they continue like this, legal action will be taken against them and they could be put in prison for a long time. After few hours of talking the parties came to an agreement that no marriage will take place and the custody of the girl was also given to her mother.